As a native Charlottean, Kara had been aware of Crisis Assistance Ministry for some time but never imagined she would need to seek out the agency’s services. But a job loss and other strains on her finances meant that several years ago, she needed a temporary hand up.
Recently, she was in a position to give back and help others who are in similar situations. This is her story in her own words:
“The idea of me ever needing to go to Crisis Assistance Ministry never crossed my mind. I mean, I am a college graduate and made a decent salary; but the loss of a job, being the caregiver of my last living grandparent, and the recession took its toll on my health and my savings.
I was out of work for 3 years and 10 months. I never thought I would be out of work that long. I did have unemployment benefits, but eventually that ran out. During this span of time, I applied for hundreds of jobs, went on several interviews and I was not getting any offers.
I received a Duke Energy bill and I was not able to pay it. I swallowed my pride and called Crisis Assistance Ministry for information concerning their programs. I was told what documentation was needed and the next day I headed there.
I was so ashamed to be in the line, but I knew it was my only way to pay the bill and keep my electricity on. I sat in the lobby and waited like everyone else and when I was called back, the counselor was very nice, nonjudgmental, respectful and professional. I didn’t feel like I was getting a hand out, but a hand up. My request was approved! Crisis Assistance paid Duke Energy directly and my electric bill was paid in full! I was a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.
Fast forward a few more weeks and I was in the same position. I went to Crisis Assistance Ministry again, but this time I was told they do not assist within a certain amount of time. Tears started to well up in my eyes and the counselor pulled up some information about me on her computer. She saw my past work history was stable until I was laid off and I told her I had a tough time finding a job, any job. Again, my bill was paid. At the same time, I thanked God for this blessing, and I vowed when I was financially able, I would give back to Crisis Assistance Ministry as often and as much as I could.
I am so proud to say I got a great job, rebuilt my credit, and I am paying it forward to Crisis Assistance Ministry. Crisis Assistance Ministry is a “gem” charitable organization in the Queen City. Why? Because donations are used for people in our community who need it most. People who have run into financial hardships and need a helping hand. Whether that is financial assistance, household needs, or clothing.
Thank you to the entire staff of Crisis Assistance Ministry for your faith, blessings, and kindness you showed me and all of the people you have and will aid in the future.”